An Interview with Sleeping With Sirens: Staying Grounded

With three records in four years, post-hardcore rockers Sleeping With Sirens have had their work cut out for them, touring around the clock to promote their latest endeavor, Feel. Far from being just another post-hardcore album, Feel helped bring the band to new heights without straying too far out of the comfort zone. Delivering what the fans want with as much personality and infectious lyrical hooks as possible, Sleeping With Sirens definitely succeeded on their front to dominate their edge of the scene.

Putting aside their studio work has always been the main focus of the band, and that’s why when they got on the road this summer, they had no intention of stopping. After a two-month stay on the Vans Warped Tour, SWS wouldn’t quit, and announced a nationwide tour following a three-week, 19-show tour in Europe, hitting up Germany, Ireland and England.

The Feel This Tour will span about 10 weeks and make 52 stops to reach the full potential of the band’s abilities, touching as many fans as they possibly can. To kick up some fervor for the U.S. dates, I sat down with lead vocalist Kellin Quinn, who made the group famous with his versatile and unique tenor leggiero vocal range, to talk about the new album, touring, and what’s in store for 2014. The transcription is below:

How do you feel the overall sound and direction of Sleeping With Sirens has changed with your latest record, Feel?

I think we’ve grown up musically and as individuals. Our band has always been the type that’s always been looking to progress and mature musically, and that’s something you can see on the new album.

On that note, was there anything you wanted different on Feel than on previous records?

No, not really. In terms of where we wanted to be with this album, and our budget, and what we’re comfortable with, we found the perfect remedy for it, if that makes sense. Next time around we’d like to do something with a little bit bigger of a budget and experiment more, but we had a pretty grounded idea of what we wanted for this one.

You definitely have a knack for injecting a lot of your personal identity into your music. Would you say this latest is the most in-depth you’ve gotten so far?

It’s definitely pretty in-depth. I don’t know about more so than before. I do try to put a lot of myself into our music because I think that’s the biggest influence that you can draw inspiration from. But I also like to write in a way where it can relate to anyone and everyone, you know? Not getting too specific. Like if it’s a love song, I try not to make it seem like it’s directly about a guy or a girl. I just try to make everything universal so that everybody can connect to it.

Do you think becoming a father and getting married had an influence on the new music? And do you think it will continue to influence what you do?

Definitely. Being a father definitely helps you find patience and kind of helps you see the bigger picture in life. My wife and I had a really long good relationship and were together for about seven years before we decided to get married, so it was only a matter of time before we ended up getting married. So I don’t think it was a huge change for me.

Of course, having the baby, it was at first one of those things that was a little bit shocking at the time, but has turned into a really great thing for me. It’s helped me to stay grounded in a world where everything is so fleeting and chaotic in the music scene.

How do you feel about the response to the record? How has the crowd reception been?

It’s been awesome, dude. I mean, 50,000 sales on the first week, number three on the Billboard charts—it seems like people are liking the record. Of course, those are just numbers, and I know a lot of people were iffy about it when it first came out—I think because they wanted it to sound more like our first album—but as we started playing it live, and introduced more people to the songs, it really started to grow on our audience. I think it’s better that way actually than if people had just instantly been grabbed by it. If you let the music grow on you it means more and it holds a place for longer.

What would you say is the best and worst part of being on the road for so long?

The best thing about being on the road is getting to experience and see so many different places that so many people don’t get the opportunity to see. There’s something very special about being on tour. You never know who you’re gonna meet, you never know where you’re gonna end up, but it’s always a mystery and an exciting one. The hardest part is definitely having to be away from your family and everything that’s normal and familiar. Just generally being homesick is the worst of it.

What’s next after the U.S. tour?

We have some festival stuff we’re going to be doing around December, and we may end up doing stuff overseas again, but I think we’re in need of some lengthy time off, especially after Warped. We’ve got these three weeks in Europe and then a six-week headliner tour.

I really want to get some time off to spend at home with my daughter. She’s gonna be two in May and she’s learning new things, and I don’t want to miss a lot of that. I want to be around for the important stuff. I think it’ll be good for the fans to take a breather, too. I don’t want our fanbase to get oversaturated with shows and tours from us. It’ll be good to kind of get out of the spotlight for a while and then hit them with something even bigger when we get back. A lot of bands tour way too much nowadays anyway.

Sleeping With Sirens will be appearing at the Best Buy Theater on Nov. 1 and 2, the Electric Factory in Philadelphia on Nov. 4, and the Starland Ballroom on Nov. 5. Feel is available now through Rise Records. For more information, go to